Free the Mind

Free the Mind

DVD - 2014
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"In 1992 Professor Richard Davidson, one of the world's leading neuroscientists, met the Dalai Lama, who encouraged him to apply the same rigorous methods he used to study depression and anxiety to the study of compassion and kindness, those qualities cultivated by Tibetan meditation practice. The results of Davidson's studies at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are portrayed in Free the Mind as they are applied to treating PTSD in returning Iraqi vets and children with ADHD. The film poses two fundamental questions: What really is consciousness, and how does it manifest in the brain and body? And is it possible to physically change the brain solely through mental practices?"--From
Publisher: New York : Alive Mind Cinema : Distributed by Kino Lorber, c2014.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (80 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Ambo, Phie
Danish Documentary (Firm)


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Oct 29, 2016

this doc presents some good illustrations about the benefit of mindfulness and breathing/meditation techniques - but it's not a lesson in how to use these tools for yourself. that information is widely available elsewhere.

the juxtaposition of a young boy with behavioral problems and a fear of elevators against the devastation of vets suffering PTSD was interesting but the links between the two were not explicit. you are left to assume and conclude much on your own.

I found the graphics of brain energy interjected between scenes to be utterly distracting and of no real benefit towards understanding how breathing and mindfulness can retrain the brain.

Richard J. Davidson's book - The Emotional Life of the Brain - is more informative.

May 27, 2015

I was disappointed with this film as I expected much more. The little child was adorable, but I wonder how helpful it was to allow the elevator scenario to drag on for so long. I can see being kind/gentle, but also we want him to be able to face things going forward.
Second: the PTSD work done with the veterans seemed only to focus on breathing. I expected more mindful activities...ex...the brain is capable of neuroplasticity, but there was no work on "reframing" the experience. The "questions" in the survey seemed different in the second test...the wording seemed to lead to a more positive answer. I just expected a lot more...alas

Dec 10, 2014

What the heck?? So difficult to follow. You keep waiting for them to get to the point. They never explain anything, tell you who anyone is, offer actual statistics, etc... It almost would've played better in reverse. That's how messed up the flow of the film is. Terrible job of following the subjects in the film. Only a few times does anyone ever address the camera. At the end they only follow up with 2 people after just 1 month! Well of course it's still working then. Exercise is also a form of meditation so I like that one guy brought that up sort of dismissing the program. One of the most wayward and uninformative documentaries I've ever seen.

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